Played at temperatures approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, chances were at a premium in this match for third place. In the early stages, both Andras Simon and Diego Estrada hit shots that went wide and as half time approached, David Guzman and Marcos Urena both had efforts go off-target. The only real other point of note in the first half was when the unfortunate Marko Futacs was forced to hobble off with an ankle injury after a challenge from Cristian Gamboa.
His replacement, the Liverpool striker Krisztian Nemeth, did not start the game due to illness, but he showed tremendous willingness to get involved in the action. Indeed, aside from an Estrada effort that flew narrowly wide, the second half was all Hungary.
Indeed, the second half turned into the Esteban Alvarado show, as the Costa Rica goalkeeper, denied Andras Gosztonyi, Roland Varga and Nemeth as the large crowd inside the Cairo International Stadium roared in appreciation. But the goalkeeper would have and should have been blameless if Varga, Andras Simon (who hit the post), Janos Szabo and Nemeth had taken the other chances which fell to the Europeans in the second half. Instead, the keeper cut a relieved figure as those chances went begging.
But football can be a cruel game - and it was against the run of play when Los Ticos took the lead with nine minutes to go. Urena was allowed to run at the Hungarian defence before cutting inside and firing a right-footed shot which left Gulasci with no chance. They had a good chance to double their advantage six minutes later, but Josue Martinez headed wide from Estrada's free-kick.
Hungary must have thought that their luck was out when Vladimir Koman's free-kick was headed inches wide by Andras Simon, but to their credit they kept plugging away and won a penalty when Jose Mena hauled down Nemeth in the box. The Costa Rican defender stepped up to take the resulting penalty and made no mistake from 12 yards in the first minute of added time.
And so, it went straight to penalties - and there was no mistaking the hero of the hour. Just as he was against Czech Republic, Peter Gulasci was the difference between the two teams, keeping out efforts from Gamboa, Esteban Luna and Carlos Hernandez while Nemeth and Varga both scored to hand the Europeans a place on the podium.